988 and crisis hotline featured in new DHW podcast

April 5, 2024
Dustin Lapray, Division of Behavioral Health

Idahoans in crisis always have someone to talk to by calling or texting 988. This three-digit phone number for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline connects directly to a call center in Idaho, at the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline (ICSH).

The latest episode of the “Idaho Behavioral Health Authority Podcast” spends 40 minutes discussing 988 and the crisis system in Idaho. The podcast will come out monthly and discuss programs in DHW’s Division of Behavioral Health (DBH).

Hosts Jeremy Storton and Dustin Lapray interviewed three panelists for the podcast about 988:

  • Lee Flinn, Executive Director at the ICSH
  • Kelly Rhoads, Statewide Crisis Program Manager at DBH
  • Nicole Coleman, 988 Program Manager at DBH

The 988 switchover in July 2022 simplified the process of reaching out for help for Idahoans in crisis.

The old 800 numbers still work, but 988 is short, easy to remember, and streamlines the process. Veterans can call, press +1 and connect to a special line. LGTBQ+ individuals can call, press +2 and connect to a special line. The line is not just for people considering suicide; it’s for anyone in any kind of crisis.

In Idaho, the crisis system is undergoing more change, beyond 988. New crisis centers now operate in seven cities. Four children’s crisis centers are open across Southern Idaho. In the future, a statewide mobile crisis system will ensure that people in crisis can get help where they are.

Listen to the podcast series, now available on YouTube and Spotify,  or visit the home page for the “Idaho Behavioral Health Authority.”

Test 988 before you need it

Call 988 now. Test it, before you or someone you know is in crisis, so when the time comes, you’ll know what to expect. Familiarity leads to confidence, especially in a crisis. The hotline encourages you to call for this reason.

Dustin Lapray is a public involvement officer with the Division of Behavioral health at DHW.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov

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